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From the Land of Band Box Records

Band Box: Denver’s Big Little Label

Band Box Building final sepia jpg

 

BAND BOX SINNERS LOGOOn this page I have added images to the Band Box discography in catalog number order. For an alphabetical-by-artist discography visit  Band Box Artists Page – A through KVisit Band Box Artists Page – L through Z)

Bandbox244 & Hitch Hiker Higgins

Bandbox244 & Hitch Hiker Higgins

NOTE: This page was updated on March 5th, 2018 based on my initial meeting with Vicky Morosan’s  granddaughter Valerie Jean at the Denver Record Expo.  Valerie’s mother Francis is Vicky’s daughter and she resides in Lakewood, Colorado to this day.

Band Box Records began in the early 1950’s as “Columbine” records.  A name change to Band Box occurred around 1958.  The company was owned by A. V. Pasca (Aurelia Victoria – maiden name) who later became Vicky Morosan.

Terri Hale – Granddaughter of Victoria – contacted us with additional biographical information.  Terri tells us: “Her name is Aurelia Victoria, but she did go by Vicky.  The family did emigrate to the United States from Transylvania, Romania.  However, their Romanian name is Pasca, which means bread in Romanian.  The name was inadvertently changed to Paskie by Ellis Island officials as her parents entered the United States.  The incorrect spelling remained much to the ire of my Grandmother.  My Grandmother, however, refused to ever use the name Paskie. It was a very sore subject with her.  We knew not to ever bring up the subject.  She would sometimes revisit the topic and I can still hear her today say in her thick Romanian accent that the Romanians are descendants of the Romans and not Slavic, as the name Paskie would imply.”

According to Valerie Vicky was making a journey by train across the U.S. from West Virginia destination Arizona with her daughter who had a health condition.  When the mom and daughter stopped in Denver and stepped off the train for a train stop break Vicky looked out at the Rocky Mountains and decided then and there to remain in Colorado which she did up until the time of her death.

Vicky resided at 1155 Reed Street in Lakewood, Colorado – a community just west of Denver proper.  This residence is now gone – replaced by condos.

Columbine Records

Columbine 102Graves, Will & Rhythm Rangers - Columbine 106 - Have I Told You Lately That I Love You w Sleeve

(Denver Post): “Back in the late 1950’s, Vicky answered a for-sale ad in the paper for a recording studio at East Sixth Avenue and Ogden Street called Columbine Records. A dispute over the name with behemoth Columbia Records got Morosan to change the label’s name to Band Box Records. She moved to 220 S. Broadway and went into business. Denver had its Sun Studio.

(Columbine was owned by Karl Zomar, who recorded many local western musicians releasing them on 78 rpm singles).

“She loved music, opera especially. So it was funny for her to get into rock ‘n’ roll.” said Morosan’s daughter, Frances. Morosan died during the making of the movie, in 2006. She was 97.

“She would make demo records for whoever would come in the door,” Frances said. “She loved the business so much. She put those records in her trunk and hauled them all over the country, the hard way. She was just a working old fool.””

The Band Box studios were eventually relocated at 5136 West 41st Avenue (after the early acquisition of Columbine Records as described by the Post above).  This building is now occupied by “Freaky’s” – a small  ‘head shop’ franchise with several locations in the Denver area.

The Columbine discography is presented on the bottom of this page

Band Box Letterhead

Band Box Letterhead

Recording Studios

05 BAND BOX - ENGINEER

Lisa Wheeler (North of Pueblo) sent me the scan of this very interesting record label from “Broadway Sound Productions” further identified as “Home of Band Box and Keyboard Records” which is obviously a very early release from the Broadway location.  According to some early Band Box artists – the early recordings were recorded in studios around the Denver area and Valerie Jean told me that several sessions were held at the 220 South Broadway address.  Then sometime in the early 1960,s it was apparently off to the 5136 West 41st Ave new home to Band Box until it’s demise around 1970 or 1971.  The image below was sent to me by Lisa Wheeler – Blog author for the site “North of Pueblo“.

BAND BOX - BROADWAY SOUND

Saints guitarist Joe Holenbek specifically recalls many sessions at a studio “around 20th and Champa” in what is now called “Lo Do”.  Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame inductee and Band Box artist Lee Sims recalls later recording sessions which were released on the Band Box “Rustique” and “Keyboard” labels having been cut at studios at Alameda & South Pearl (possibly Western Cine) and Evans & South Lipan.  Tom Lundin of the Blog site “The Denver Eye” was told by a local record collector that several sessions resulting in Band Box label releases were recorded in out-of-town studios which probably vouches for sessions by country artists such as Trevor Van, Johnny Dollar and Penny (DeHaven) Starr all of whom can’t be traced to the Band Box studio as well as many more sessions back east or likely in Nashville and so on.

In addition, Vicky formed a relationship with musicians/composer/publisher James Myers who recorded as Jimmy DeKnight.  Through contacts with Myers, Vicky obtained rights to release several tracks from East Coast based musicians such as Joe Valino and Steve Gibson and the Red Caps.  In all there were about a score of Band Box singles released via Myers Publishing including one single by “Jimmy DeKnight” himself – who co-wrote the monster hit “Rock Around the Clock”.

Vicky Morosan -Band Box Legend

02 BAND BOX - VICKY MOROSAN

Vicky Morosan was the driving force behind Band Box, acquiring the label in the 1950’s.  Dave Barhite of the Saints and Larry Higgins of Freddie and the Hitch-Hikers both remember Vicky fondly.  Dave recalls, “Before the studio was obtained on 41st Avenue, we spent many hours over at her house in Lakewood.  And she was always present at the recording sessions, and always offered opinion and suggestions.  Vicky appears briefly in the video “Gears, Grease and Guitars” (by Mike Olafson) – a look at Denver in the early days of hot rods and rock and roll.  In the film she is entered while well into her 90’s.  According to a Denver Post article she passed away before the completion of the film.  Here is a review of the film from the Colorado Springs Independent newspaper.

Valerie Jean related that Vicky lost her home in Lakewood at the Reed Street address and moved into an apartment.  This was apparently after the sale of the Band Box studio in North Denver well into the 1970’s.  Around 1977 a number of Band Box records were reissued displaying a Lakewood post office box number.

It was thought for a time that these recordings were unauthorized releases but according to Valerie her grandmother continued to sell Band Box recordings and those taking on the new address were likely out of stock and had to be repressed.

Aurelia Victoria Morosan Obituary

Aurelia - Mt. Olivet - Golden, Colorado

Aurelia V. Morosan – Mt. Olivet – Golden, Colorado

(From the Denver Post – October 1st, 2006: “MOROSAN, AURELIA V. Aurelia V. Morosan, 96, of Lakewood. Wife of the late Frank Morosan. Mother of Frances (Vernon) Olin and the late Louis Morosan, Virginia Ruppel, and Anna Konrade. Sister of Elizabeth (Ed) Ryder, and Daniel (Fran) Paskie. Also survived by fifteen grandchildren thirteen great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Recitation of the Rosary Tuesday, 7:00 PM, with Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, 11:30 AM. Both will be held at the Archdiocese of Denver Mortuary. Entombment, Mount Olivet Cemetery.”

Vicky Morosan at the Piano – from “Gears, Grease & Guitars”

03 BAND BOX - MOROSAN VICKY

Vicky in 2006 shortly before her death

Band Box - Record Mailer

Colorado record collector Rick Price sent me this scan of a Band Box record mailer.  Rick also reports having seen some Band Box 78 rpm pressings at some point!

This 1957 ad casts some cloud on the ownership of Band Box – Although the accompanying text indicates that Vicky was the next buyer – interesting that the ad contact information indicates that Vicky (maiden name “A.V. Pasca) ” ran the ad so apparently she changed her mind and held on to Band Box.

06 BAND BOX - FOR SALE ed

Clifford Mitchell (Band Box Logo/Cover Artist)

Met with Valerie Jean (May, 2018) and this photo in her scrapbook lists the gentleman shown here as non other than “Clifford Mitchell” – Band Box artist – The Band Box hot rod shown was apparently sponsored by Vicky and raced at the nearby to her studio Lakeside Speedway.  Lady in photo is unknown.

I love the Band Box label and LP cover art.  Sort of distinguishes it from all others.  Here is what the granddaughter of Vicky Morosan (Band Box owner) Terri Hale relates regarding Clifford. “I spoke to my aunt and asked about the Band Box logo.  She said that it was designed by a man by the name of Clifford Mitchell, a Denver designer/artist that did all of the design work for Band Box.  She said that she could not remember if he came up with the name (Band Box) or my Grandmother or if it was a collaboration of efforts.”

Further to Clifford Mitchell is local artist and radio executive Dick Dedrick (Band Box LP 1018 “Animal Tales & Tunes”) account of Cliff: “I was a friend of Cliff Mitchell.  He was the artist for Channel 2 when I worked there in the 50’s.  He also did movie posters for Atlas Theaters.  He was fast and fabulous!   His graphic design would win a Grammy for campiest labels if there was such a thing (category).  In the early days Cliff was Lawrence Welk’s ‘manager’, of sorts.  He helped him book dates and come up with promotional ideas.  He said Welk once told him ‘We need to come up with some stunts.’  Doesn’t sound like Lawrence, does it?”  Show below are examples of the various Band Box Records labels as well as some cover art by Mitchell.

The Band Box logo was first registered on January 8th, 1963.  According to trademark data, first use of the name/logo was in July of 1954 – a date that does correspond to the purchase of the company by Vicky as researched and reported on “North of Pueblo”.

Band Box - Registered in 1963 but in Use on Records by 1958/59

Band Box – Registered in 1963 but in Use on Records by 1958/59

spicy-5002-f-bob-sylvia-ma-pa-snort-blasterBAND BOX LABELS (2)BAND BOX LABELS (3)BAND BOX LABELS (4)BAND BOX LABELS (5)BAND BOX LABELS (6)BAND BOX LABELS (7)BAND BOX LABELS (8)BAND BOX LABELS (9)BAND BOX LABELS (10)BAND BOX LABELS (11)BAND BOX LABELS (12)

SPICY LP 5003 - JORDAN, RACHEL (1) SPICY LP 5002 - BOB & SYLVIA (1) BAND BOX LP 1006 - KAE, RONNY (1) BAND BOX LP 1004 - BLUE RHYTHMS (1) BAND BOX LP 1002 - INK SPOTS (1)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASPICY LP 5001 - WATSON & COWAN (1)

Band Box – the 1155 Reed Street address

This address does appear on many of the earlier Band Box releases.  But not all.  For instance early release Band Box 204 carries the 41st Avenue address – the studio location.  This record should date around 1958 or so.  But subsequent Band Box releases carry the 1155 Reed Street address – a residentual single family home.  Some releases after this carry no address.  Then Reed Street appears up until about Band Box 287 at which time 41st Ave is back.  287 would date about 1962.  This runs true until Band Box 335 (Buddy Miller) which reverts to Reed Street (mid 1963) then right back to 41st Ave on 336 and continuing right up until the final record was pressed – most likely Band Box 393 by a group called Euphoria.

11th and Reed – But 1155 is Long Gone

The Final Band Box Chapter

By the early 1970’s, the Band Box studio was probably idle.  The group Euphoria was most likely the last group to pass through the doors with a Band Box release to their credit.  The small ad below in Billboard Magazine  – in the March 20th 1971 edition was the apparent final attempt to sell Band Box.

I located an interesting item on the Bob Yeazel web site relating to the possible sale of the studio: (Bob Yeazel passed away losing a struggle with cancer.

“I (Yeazel) bought an old recording studio called “Band Box Records” on 44th and Sheridan, a long time Denver icon.  It was a two track studio where, ironically I had cut a demo with a surf band years before.  You all stood around a mic and moved around to get your vocal balance.  This, of course was after you recorded the music on the other track using the same one mic technique.  You need more drums?  Move the mic closer to the drums!…….”  “I bought  it (the studio) from George Kreiger along with Brian Kreizenbeck……..” “The owner of  the building reduced the size of the studio and eliminated the practice room  attached and converted it to a small apartment. This is how it remains to this  very day.”

Yeazel then recalls that he may have sold the building back to Krieger – who is no relation to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame board member George Krieger.

July 7th, 2017 (Jerry)

“Hello, I’m the former owner of the collectors records stores in co springs in the early 80s and i have seen many band box records. the 45s with a zip code were pressed in the early 70s, don’t know if they were legit reissues or not but i had heard they were.  Perhaps Dave Stidman could elaborate on this. Giuseppe’s twist was recorded for Giuseppe’s cellar in col springs, the owner offered me a box of about a hundred of the 45 in the early 80s and I turned them down as I had several copies already and they didn’t sell.  I still have several copies of band box # 103 which i got in a purchase from a western slope juker a year or so ago.

I really enjoyed reading this page and seeing the 45 labels which i had held in my hands so many times.”

So that is it for now for the Band Box legacy.  I am always searching for more tidbits and historical information relating to this great “big/little” Denver label.

Band Box Recordings by Catalog Number & Year

BAND BOX MAILER

34 Comments

  1. Pingback: Band Box Records « PopBopRocktilUDrop

  2. Many thanks for the shout-out – glad I could help! Cool sleuth work/pics of the locations. I think between the two of us, we have everything (grin)!!

  3. There are a few inaccuracies in your account, which I enjoyed reading nonetheless. Her name is Aurelia Victoria, but she did go by Vicky. The family did emigrate to the United States from Transylvania, Romania. However, their Romanian name is Pasca, which means bread in Romanian. The name was inadvertently changed to Paskie by Ellis Island officials as her parents entered the United States. The incorrect spelling remained much to the ire of my Grandmother. My Grandmother, however, refused to ever use the name Paskie. It was a very sore subject with her. We knew not to ever bring up the subject. She would sometimes revisit the topic and I can still hear her today say in her thick Romanian accent that the Romanians are descendants of the Romans and not Slavic, as the name Paskie would imply. Also, the photo of the house shown is not the home she had on 8th. I am not sure where the photo was taken of Grandmother playing the piano, but her home on Reed Street was not large enough to accommodate a piano. She was and will always be a great woman to me, well ahead of her time. She had an extremely high degree of intelligence and was mentally acute until she died just shy of her 97th birthday. We were best friends and I miss her enormously.

  4. Pingback: Band Box Revisited | PopBopRocktilUDrop

  5. I recorded a kiddie album for Band Box in the mid-60s. Learned some time later that it had been released as a little league fund raiser. I’m producing spoken-word CD’s todayon Nostalgia Road label. Check out our Nostalgia Parade at NostalgiaRoad.com.

    • These are the type of comments that make my day! I have some more questions I hope you have time to answer. I located your LP just this summer and was thrilled. I had not seen it before. It sounds as though you didn’t know it would be released as a fund raiser. Did you actually to into the Band Box studio to record? Do you know any circumstances surrounding it’s release for the little league? How did you come to record at Band Box in the first place? I also appreciate the comments about Cliff Mitchell. I have not had success finding anything more about him until now. I am adding your comments to the Band Box Artist page both under Cliff Mitchell and the Dick Dedrick entries. What are you doing these days? Best regards. Craig

  6. PS: Also was a friend of Cliff Mitchell. He was the artist for Channel 2 when I worked there in the 50’s. A classic style: He also did movie posters for Atlas Theaters. He was fast and fabulous!

    • PS: What was your line of work and what did you do at Channel 2?

      • Thanks for your interest! Please forgive my failure to reply. I’ll keep up from now on. First off, what a great website you have. Great research on your part. As for Channel 2, I worked my way from keeper of the prop room to production manager. Also DJ on Denver stations: KLAK, KERE, KBRQ and KEZW. As for Band Box, I still can’t say enough about Cliff Mitchell’s artwork. And artists: Embert Mischler (produced a couple of sides on Studio 40 label for him); Randy King (good friend). Walt Conley (friend since college days in the mid-50’s). As for CLW label, I wrote “Dream World” for Pat Floyd.

        Yes, I recorded my kiddie album (mostly) en the Band Box studio (sitting on a piano bench, reading the scripts). Since then I’ve worked around (owned a couple of radio stations); did radio and TV spots for Jake Jabs (another country fan). Currently doing the CD’s and writing a monthly column (Nostalgia Road) for a few senior newspapers. My age (78) qualifies me for that job.

        Thanks again. I’ll be paying more attention. dd

        PS: For what it’s worth … Glen Owen belongs in the Colorado Country Hall of Fame … along with Buster Jenkins, Maury DaVolt and Ed Scott.

  7. http://www.northofpueblo.com/2012/03/daddy-eds-original-childrens-stories.html

    Dick– did you happen to see my story? Anything you can offer about this recording would be helpful.

    • Hello Lisa – Yes I did see it way back when I first started all this. I came across your story and site for the first time. In my meetings with Vicky’s granddaughter Terri Hale – I couldn’t make any connection to the “Daddy Ed” release or any association that they could determine. She told me about a couple of different studio locations that were used around Denver for recording prior to the opening of the Sheridan location. I will ask Dick Dedrick who you can see wrote in – and ask him due to his being involved in composing children’s tunes and having worked in the local broadcasting community as far back as the 1950’s.

  8. http://www.northofpueblo.com/2012_03_01_archive.html
    I still would love to solve the mystery of Daddy Ed. I figure between the two of us, we will crack it!!

    • I asked Dick Dedrick about this and he drew a blank. He was very much involved in doing children’s entertainment: composing and producing both Romper Room and Blinky The Clown TV shows here in Denver. I found the author of the “Sammy the Skunk” children’s books on line and she talks at length about her uncle “Ed”. Who knows? But her books according to the story date back only about 40 years.

    • PS: Her name is Adele Roberts

  9. I remember it well. I was lead guitar for Lee Pickett & The Blue Rhythms . A name I brought with me from Des Moines Iowa .I also did some studio work for Vicky , On Bob and Sylvia’s music. I even cut an instrumental I wrote called “The Roll” &” Ebony.”. A lot of our records are on RCS Rockabilly along with Band Box releases. Those were the days we even recorded an album “The Blue Rhythms At the KOKO Club” I was inducted into the Iowa RockNRoll Hall of Fame in 2008.At the place where Buddy’s plane went down Clear Lake Iowa. I live in Arizona Still working on CD/s.

    • So great hearing from you Marvin! The Blue Rhythms LP is one of the first Band Box records I acquired. Do you know the status of either Lee or Paul Jennings? You and Lee are both featured very prominently on world rock-a-billy sites. Must be a good feeling to know that you guys were there in the early days pioneering the sounds! Just a note – locally in Colorado there are plans in the works to induct the entire Band Box label into the Hall.

  10. Hi!
    Thanks for the reply. Lee is living in Canoga Park Ca. suburb of LA. He and his brothers have a group, called ” Colorado” and Lee is back doing some singing I understand. I don’t know how active they are but still at it. I talk with lee ever so often. The last I talked with Paul he re-married & was in Grand Junction Colo. Thanks & If you have a News-site advise I would love to get a copy of the record I cut as a single Ebony . Any suggestions?

    • I don’t if you know it, but we had a pretty good hit on a song Lee wrote called “Fatty Patty” It was released on a Label out of Hollywood Ca. Called “Jolt” Records. We made Billboard in 1958. #23 If my memory serves me right.

    • This is great information – I do have a copy of the “Ebony” single on Band Box which I would be honored to send to you. It belongs with its rightful owner! I will email you to get a mailing address.

      • I have a copy of Number 376 by the Prairie Wranglers “Nickel, Dime and a Hundred” and “Tears on your Picture”. It must have been recorded in 1966, label with red print. It is signed by “Don…..eelhe” (which might be “D. Koehler, listed as writer of both with B. Thayer.
        Don Mielke, Littleton, Colorado

  11. I have Columbia Custom “matrix information” (ZTSC / XCTV, ZTEC, etc) on the following BAND BOX record releases. Can anyone provide information on others not listed here? Send to reginald@mail2world.com

    271 (Randy King and The Country Rhythm Boys with Gene Merritts) (ZTEC matrix prefix)

    253, 272, 274, 285, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 295, 300, 301, 305, 309, 320, 322 (all with ZTSC matrix prefix)

    I’ve information on only 1 Columbia Custom pressing album release… BAND BOX BBLP-1007 THE BOLTZ FAMILY FIVE – HAWAIIAN MASTERPIECES (matrix #’s XCTV-82343 / 82344). Released 3/62 ? Were there any other BAND BOX releases pressed by Columbia Custom (Chicago)? Please provide label scans if you have info on other releases. thank you.

    REGINALD B.

  12. Pingback: Band Box Catalog Is All In Line | PopBopRocktilUDrop

  13. Is there any further information of the life of Tony Rodelle Larson? I LOVE the two songs….”Bear Rug” and “Cool Yule.” I dream of a cache of unreleased masters!

    • I have a little on this site – Tony was a local radio DJ – I will see what additional I can round up. A couple of friends of mine in the group The Saints – backed him up on those tracks – Next time I have coffee with either one I will ask them as well

  14. Craig, is Buddy Miller on Ban Box the same artist as half of the couple Buddy & Julie Miller? That Buddy Miller was also the musical director for the TV show Nashville for the second through fourth years, taking over from T Bone Burnett.

    Just curious.

    Thanks!

    • Paul – I am just not aware of Miller’s background beyond his appearance on the Band Box label. I can’t seem to locate other Denver area musicians who ever met or saw him.

  15. Hi I found a couple records at an estate sale this weekend. Researching online I found this site. The artist name is “Argust Jarman” and I don’t see him listed here, but I do see a “Hank Jarman” listed and it says the LP’s have not surfaced. I believe I may have demos, as they don’t have the band box logo on them, but a label written with a typewriter. The logo is just black bold letters.

    The songs are:
    Side A:
    1. six days on the road
    2. Cool water
    3. Long gone lonesome blues
    4. Chug-A-Lug
    5. Mule skinner blues
    6. Abilene

    Side B:
    1. White lightenin’
    2. Baltimore
    3. Honky tonk man
    4. Breakfast with the blues
    5. Big river
    6. So dog gone lonesome.

    The top left of each label says “home of: big box”
    Keyboard – Valerie –

    The top right of each label says:
    “Rustique – Spicy labels”

    Both records are the same.

    I would love to know more! I could not find anything else online. Funny enough, I’m a singer and I used to live in Denver. I found these records in my current town, Tustin, CA. Thanks!

  16. hello, i’m the former owner of the collectors records stores in co springs in the early 80s and i have seen many band box records. the 45s with a zip code were pressed in the early 70s, don’t know if they were legit reissues or not but i had heard they were. perhaps dave stidman could elaborate on this. Giuseppe’s twist was recorded for Giuseppe’s cellar in col springs, the owner offered me a box of about a hundred of the 45 in the early 80s and i turned them down as i had several copies already and they didn’t sell. i still have several copies of band box # 103 which i got in a purchase from a western slope juker a year or so ago.

    i really enjoyed reading this page and seeing the 45 labels which i had held in my hands so many times.

  17. Thanks for posting this treasure trove of info about Band Box. I’m a country musician, born and raised in Denver, but living in Chicago, and I had no idea that there was such a thing as a Denver-based label, until I found a copy of the Hank Jarman 45, a few years ago (it’s a favorite!). The added info in the comments section is also outstanding. Does anyone know where I could get one of those Band Box T-shirts?

    • Hello Lawrence – The Band Box story is a fascinating one – and I am always receiving surprises such as the lady out in California who found three long play acetate copies of Hank Jarman Tracks – unreleased – The T-Shirts were a very limited run by a former Band Box musician who was the drummer for “Freddie and the Hitch-Hikers” and several other Colorado groups. He couldn’t obtain permission to have several sets produced. But thanks for asking!

  18. Band Box 366 – Curly Starr – “Here I Am, Drunk Again” b/w “A House Without Love” I have pics and two copies of the record! I am his Nephew

    • If you have photos/images would love to Post them on his Band Box listing – Also any information you could share with us would be appreciated!

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